Brian Fitzpatrick

Barack Obama’s relationship with Weathermen founder William Ayers would reveal a great deal about the candidate’s character and values, if establishment journalists chose to tell the tale. 

But rather than investigate and expose the truth, many news organizations are merely parroting the Obama campaign’s main talking point, an obvious effort to defuse a political time bomb: the observation that the Democratic presidential nominee was 8 years old when the Weathermen were bombing the U.S. Capitol and Pentagon and killing police officers.

In February, during the Democratic primaries, Obama’s relationship with the former terrorist and current radical activist surfaced as a campaign issue.  The Obama campaign responded by minimizing the candidate’s relationship with Ayers and subtly twisting the issue.  Obama spokesman Bill Burton said:  “But he was an eight-year-old child when Ayers and the Weathermen were active, and any attempt to connect Obama with events of almost forty years ago is ridiculous.”  This is still the story on the Obama campaign Web site:  “Reality: Obama was eight years old when the Weathermen were active.”

Of course, nobody is trying to connect Obama to the Vietnam-era bombings. The real issue is Obama’s values and judgment as an adult.  What will voters think about a presidential candidate who maintained a close working relationship for at least seven years, 1995-2002, with a man who described himself as a “small-c communist” and is still working diligently to radicalize Chicago’s schoolchildren? A man who was pictured – in Chicago Magazine in 2001 – treading on an American flag? A man who told the New York Times in 2001 that he regretted that he and his comrades didn’t set more bombs?

The ever-evolving Obama campaign stance about the Ayers relationship seems to change every time conservative journalists dredge up new information. Under other circumstances (if the candidate were not the media’s darling), the sharks in the establishment newsrooms would smell blood in the water.  Here’s the evolution:

Brian Fitzpatrick

Brian Fitzpatrick, a writer, editor, and commentator on political and cultural issues, is the Senior Editor at Media Research Center’s Culture & Media Institute.

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